Monday, September 17, 2012

Alba - Spanish Restaurant in the Heart of Makati

One of our colleagues in work, recently celebrated his 5th year work anniversary. Fortunately, we got invited in the celebratory lunch. In the spirit of fine dining and courage to try something new, we all decided to try Alba, a Spanish restaurant in Polaris Street Bel-Air, Makati.

First step in the place makes me feel like I am in a classy home of a Spanish general. the interiors are  delicately furnished plus, the place is soothing because of the background feel-good music.  If you dine here, wearing a dress will indeed make you feel like a princess.

Elegant furnishings and paintings
A basket of bread is being given to customers as a welcome snack.  Is it good? Yes- it is freshly baked. Actually, because of its goodness, I even requested for a refill.

free bread that is super fresh and yummy!
We ordered several dishes from appetizers up to main course, as follows:

Croquetas de Pollo ( Croquettes of chicken served with Aioli sauce. ), 170 pesos

creamy mashed potato, chicken and cheese inside
For those who are not familiar, Croquette is a breaded snack composed of mashed potato and meat inside. Alba's version has a creamy taste so i assume that they mixed cheese or cream with it. Overall, this is a perfect appetizer. Crunchy on the outside but mushy on the inside.

Champignon Al Ajillo (Button Mushrooms in Olive oil, garlic, and chili pepper), 150 pesos

Chunky and tasty mushrooms for health buffs out there!
I'm not a fan of mushrooms because of their distinct taste that is left in the tongue. Upon having a bite of this dish, that perception was changed. Because of the light and blended mix of the spices used in the mushrooms, all you can taste is the meat-like flavor, and the soft and chewy texture of the mushrooms.

Calamares Al Aji Oli (Grilled Squid with Olive Oil and Garlic), 190 pesos

Fresh squids
Just grilled squid with a slightly creamy sauce. Nothing special with the taste. The consistency of the squid meat is fine though since it was rightly cooked and not rubbery.

Tortilla de Gambas ( Shrimp omelet), 290 pesos

Can you see those fresh and spiced shrimps? Yummy!
You might think that this is just like a normal omelet- but No. The egg seems to be flavored with several "secret" spices, which made it delicious. A plus factor is that the shrimp toppings are big, fresh, and tasty! But if you are tired with eggs every morning, just try ordering something different.

Mahi Mahi Frescas (marinated fresh mahi-mahi fillet in olive oil, white wine, vinegar, and garlic), 180 pesos.

Simple and healthy mahi-mahi dish
The dish sounds super healthy right? Imagine having fish marinated in a healthy blend of olive oil and vinegar. As for the taste, it is ok, but not really impressive. The taste can be similar to a normal fish marinated in vinegar. The good thing with this though is that you cannot trace the tangy flavor of fish due to the added spices.

Ostras a la Rockefeller (6 pcs.baked New Zealand oysters on the half shell, pinach, and cream cheese), 680 pesos

Just my type. can you give me more?
Baked mussels with cheese is really adorable right? This is one of the food that I can eat a lot without feeling full at all. Alba's version is one of the best I've tried since it is not super buttery, and has just the right cheese flavor.

Paella Marinara (saffron rice with variety of seafood), 490 pesos

Even a non-rice lover like me fell in love with Alba's Paella
Paella is the most famous Spanish dish known to man. Alba never disappointed us with their house specialty. The rice is mega flavored and you can definitely eat it on its own! The seafoods added both pretty presentation and under the sea taste of freshness. We are able to finish this big serving of Paella, and our favorite part is scooping off the toasted rice in the pan since it has a crunchy and spiced up characteristic.

Cochinillo Asado (oven roasted suckling pig), 470 pesos

Spanish version of the local Lechon
This is like eating a healthier version of lechon since it oven baked. One more good thing is that the fat within the skin looks like it was squeezed out. One reason I can think of is due to the oven baking process done to the pork. This dish is sinful but ultra crunchy and tasty ( not too salty). 

That ends our Alba lunch experience. As for the question of me going back to Spanish restaurants- definitely Yes. It was my first time, and I really enjoyed it. Alba will surely be one of my top food choices next time I ran out of places to eat.


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